I am an IT teacher living in the Middle East (Qatar) originally from Eastern Canada.
Qatar is an amazing place in terms of cooking. All the ingredients are different..when I look for certain things I can't find them, then I can't find their substitutes either! I've resorted to tweaking nearly everything that I try to use local ingredients. Luckily the locally available stuff is really cheap; my new favorite is Lebanese flat bread which is really good because it is baked daily and only sets me back around 30 cents.
I like the challenge of doing things that other people won't try and I'll keep at it for a long time to learn how to consistenly do it right.
My favorite things to cook
I have been working on yeast based items for about 10 years. It started with me becoming mad one day when my favorite premade pizza crust couldn't be found so I thought I should learn how to make my own. Since then I've made all sorts of bread products including pita pockets, english muffins, croissants, and focaccia.
My cooking triumphs
The first time that I tried a pie crust from scratch it turned out pretty good; which I thought was quite impressive.
My pizza crust is by far the best thing that I consistently produce and over time I'm tweaking the ingredients and cooking getting the crust closer to PizzaHut's ... this was my comments while in North America; so far I haven't had much luck...I really miss my KitchenAid stand mixer :(
My cooking tragedies
I discovered that the yeast here in Qatar is quite powerful compared to North America. My first attempt at bread generated copious amounts of alcohol...even survived the cooking process that the bread smelt like vodka and my tounge went numb when I ate the bread.